Learning winter vocabulary is a great way to learn and practice new words, but some words have different meanings when used together. Learning these sayings is an excellent way to improve your English. Learning these weather words can build your command of the language.
Before getting into the topic, it is very important for you to be clear about the difference between sayings, phrases, and idioms in English. A saying is a sentence or expression that is memorable (easy to remember) because of its sound or meaning. For example, It is never too late to set a new goal and to see a new dream.
A phrase does not have to be a complete sentence. Phrases are groups of words that have a specific meaning when combined. The phrase “big deal” indicates that something is significant, but it is not a complete sentence on its own. You can put it in a sentence by saying, “Learning musical instruments is a big deal.”
An idiom is a type of proverb. The literal translation of an idiom is not its meaning. If someone says it’s “raining cats and dogs,” it doesn’t mean that actual cats and dogs are falling from the sky. Instead, it simply means that it is raining heavily. Idioms are difficult for English learners to understand because you can understand every word in an idiom but still not understand what it means. You simply need to learn them one at a time and begin using them.
Using sayings, phrases, and idioms in English
Some English phrases, sayings, and idioms are well-known but are rarely used in actual conversations. For example, while many people have heard the phrase “time heals all wounds,” few would use it in conversation.
The sayings like ‘time flies’ and ‘time runs’ are mostly used in our day-to-day conversations. There are some sayings and phrases that are used in routine conversations. Let’s explore them.
15+ winter phrases and sayings and idioms
This section contains winter phrases and sayings in English.
Catch one’s death
You can catch a cold from the weather as the temperature drops. If it’s very cold outside, you should probably go inside or you’ll freeze to death.
This doesn’t mean you’ll die if you go outside; it just means you’ll catch a nasty cold. This phrase can be used to warn someone to “cover yourself or you’ll catch your death!”
Baby, it’s cold outside
The phrase “Baby, it is cold outside” is not as common as the others on this list. Because “baby” is a term of endearment. You should only use it with friends. It comes from the song “Baby It is Cold Outside,” which has the same title. When someone tells you to go outside and you don’t want to: “But I don’t want to go… baby, it is cold outside!”
Autumn and winter are lovely seasons, but they also bring the chance of a cold snap. A cold snap is a burst of cold weather that disappears as quickly as it appeared. Consider snapping your fingers: quick, short, and sudden.
Jack Frost nipping at your nose
Jack Frost is the personification of winter. When it gets very cold, a thin layer of ice forms on surfaces, which is commonly seen on the grass. During the winter, Jack Frost (also known as “Old Man Winter”) goes around nipping (gently biting) people’s noses and toes. As a result, when Jack Frost nips at your nose, you feel a stinging cold on your face.
Dead of winter
During the winter, not much grows. Snow covers flowers and grass, and trees lose their leaves. The dead of winter is the coldest and darkest time of year.
Even if you enjoy winter, the cold weather is not a pleasant experience. You might say, “The only thing I want to do in the dead of winter stays indoors and drink coffee.”
Blanket of snow
You probably sleep with a blanket in the winter. It’s a thick cloth covering that you wear to keep warm. When snow falls and sticks to the ground, it appears as if the earth is covered in a blanket of snow.
To cozy up to someone
Winter is an excellent time to spend time with loved ones and cuddle under a blanket. This is referred to as snuggling up to someone for warmth.
Another, less pleasant, meaning of the phrase is to try to get closer to someone by being extra nice and friendly. You’re usually extra friendly in this sense because you want something from the other person.
Brace yourself, winter is coming
“Brace yourself” means “prepare yourself,” so this proverb implies that you should prepare for winter. The phrase can be used to describe anything unpleasant that is on its way. “Brace yourself, the final assessment is approaching,” for example.
Winter may be cold and dark, but it is also full of festivities and holidays. “Season’s greetings!” is a way to wish someone a happy holiday in December, around or during the Christmas season.
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English Idioms related to winters
You are snowed under when you have so much work that you don’t know where to begin. Consider your job to be like snow, with so much around you that you can’t even move. For example, I would love to go on a picnic with you but I am snowed under with office work.
Put something on ice
Putting something on ice means putting it off until later. The idiom derives from the practice of storing certain foods (such as meat) on ice until ready to use.
For example: Let’s put this assignment on ice until we hire more individuals to work on it.
Not a snowball’s chance in hell
Hell is commonly thought to be a place that is extremely hot. A snowball in hell would melt immediately! When something has “a snowball’s chance in hell,” it has no chance of happening at all. Someone who doesn’t know how to sing, for example, has “a snowball’s chance in hell” of becoming a singer.
“Not a snowball’s chance in hell!” can also be used alone to mean “No way!” For example, if someone asks you, “Are you going to a prom night party, despite the fact that she recently started dating your ex-boyfriend?” “Not a snowball’s chance in hell!” you can say.
When hell freezes over
Another idiom that refers to how hot hell is, is “when hell freezes over.” Simply put, the phrase means “never.” The concept is that hell will never freeze. So, if I say, “I’ll go on a date with you when hell freezes over,” it means that I’ll almost certainly never go on a date with you—because the chances of hell freezing over are extremely low.
To leave someone out in the cold
If you refuse to let someone join an activity or a group, it’s like closing the door and leaving them outside in the cold. For example, “John was left out in the cold when his coworkers all went out to lunch without him.”
Tip of the iceberg
Icebergs are massive chunks of ice that float in very cold areas of the world’s oceans. Because the majority of the iceberg is underwater, what you see above the water is only the tip of the iceberg. When you say something is the tip of the iceberg, you’re referring to a small portion of something much larger and mostly invisible.
Cold hands, warm heart
Just because your hands are cold does not imply that you are a cold person. Similarly, just because you aren’t showing emotion doesn’t mean you aren’t feeling it. People who have cold hands and a warm heart are those who are cold on the outside but warm and caring on the inside. For example, He never shows, but he cares about you. He has a cold hand but a warm heart.
These phrases, sayings, and idioms are a great way to learn English. If you are an English learner, try using English tongue twisters as a practice activity. It will improve your English pronunciation and vocabulary.
Learning a new language is not an overnight process. Create notes for yourself and practice using English words and phrases in your daily conversations. It will increase your confidence to speak English in public. If you are shy, you can also practice these words and phrases in front of the mirror.